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Broadband Via Blimps Idea Returns
By: MarkJ - 20 January, 2004 (1:21 PM)

Once more the idea of using blimps (airships) to deliver broadband Internet access to rural areas has surfaced, although this time it's become an international €5.6m project:

Scientists will build High Altitude Platforms (HAPs): airships or solar-powered aircraft, which are permanently located in the skies at an altitude of 20 kilometers, above aero planes but below satellites (images here). The project will deliver broadband connections which are 2,000 times faster than by a traditional modem and 200 times faster than ‘wired’ ADSL broadband.

The solution will be cheaper and more efficient than current technologies, the scientists claim. High Altitude Platforms do not require cabling or masts - which can be both expensive and inconvenient - to deliver broadband.

The University of York leads the project, known as Capanina, after the restaurant in Italy where initial discussions were held. Researchers in York will investigate the most effective way to operate wireless communication links via HAPs, including fast propagation and resource management, including steerable antennas which will use the latest digital signal processing.

Interesting stuff indeed, yet the challenges faced are sugar coated over above. We'll reserved judgement until a commercial example is out of trial. More @ The Register.

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